Birdringing in the Peruvian jungle was crazy this year.
It was the first time I came back to Taricaya after three years. The first time was 2013 in order for a practical of 3 months by the organisation "Projects Abroad" in the Rescue Center Taricaya in south east Peru. The station is located 26km away from the next town (Puerto Maldonado) and 20 minutes away from the Bolivian border. The approx 500ha reserve is located between the Rio Madre de Dios in the north, which comes from Cusco, and stretches up to Bolivia and the National Park Tombopata in the south.
The first time I came to jungle I ringed birds with Rachel K. and Mauricio U. Besides the ringing activities the main job for a volunteer at this station was to look after the animals. Feeding, cleaning and building new cages were the daily activities in 2013. This year, the main activity for me was bird observation and bird ringing and introducing new volunteers to this type of work. Furthermore, I had the chance to reintroduce Spider Monkeys (Ateles chamek) to their natural habitat in the rainforest.
If you´re interested in more information about the Spider Monkey release project check the following link:
If I had to resume the whole 2 months in one word it would be "awesome".
The amount of birds and the different species we caught in two months wasn't normal for this place. In total we caught 366 birds and 102 species from the end of August to the end of Ocotber. In the past 8 months (January-August) Rachel K. caught about 400 birds in total. We also broke two personal records, the highest amount of individuals and species captured in one day -- 48 birds and 31 species.
Compared with my knowledge of the Peruvian birds of 2013 almost everything was new for me. About 82 species that we caught and ringed this year were completely unknown to me.
The observation data was interesting too. In two months I observed 218 species in the nature reserve Taricaya, of which I did not know 116. In total we recorded 5 new species for Taricaya in two months (+2 by another volunteer)!
List of the new species for Taricaya
- Rufous-sided Crake (Laterallus melanophaius)
- Gray-breasted Crake (Laterallus exilis)
- Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)
- White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis) - left photo
- Black-banded Owl (Ciccaba huhula)
- Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos)
- Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Trynigtes subruficollis)
By reading all this there is the question why there were so many birds and this high amount of different species?
Well first of all I definitely ringed more than I did in 2013. We also ringed only one day at one place and after that changed to another place. Note: There is always a higher possibility to get more birds during the first day ringing. The number of birds is going down in the upcoming activities at the same place.
We tried new places as well. Normally the ringing activities in Taricaya are done with mistnets in the forest, around farms, next to creeks or near buildings. Rarely the ringing activities took place in the swamps, because the only possibility to enter this place is at the end of the dry season. Furthermore the swamps are far away and most of the time it isn´t worth carrying all the ringing material across the jungle.
During the past two months we tried to catch birds at new places like on the beach, in the lagoon, in two different swamps and in the Canopy platform, 42m high on the top of a Canopy tree.
All this explains the high number of species. An explication for the high number of birds is probably the fact that we ringed during the migration time with austral and boreal migrants overlapping . This explains especially the high number for the creamy-bellied Thrush.
Another reason for the high amount of birds caught and ringed is the fact that we caught during the cold front. The normal temperature in the jungle is around 30-35°C during the day and 20-25°C during the night. But the temperature can drop to 13•C during the night when a cold front from the Andes arrives. Normally they didn't start any bird ringing activity at this point but it occured that during this period more birds than usually are active. Literally the whole jungle is moving and searching for food.
All in all, the number of birds we caught and the amount of species we got, was really special this year and extraordinary for Taricaya (a list with all the birds we caught is below). I´m really happy I came back and enjoyed the time here with bird observation and bird ringing. Again, I learned a lot about the jungle and the biodiversity at a place like this.
I would like to THANK Rachel. I am looking forward to coming back one day!
Total capture in the peruvian jungle during 2 months at Taricaya
|Total catch||Species code (lat.)||Species name (eng.)|
|9||STERUF||Souther Rough-winged Swallow|
|2||RAMNIG||Masked Crimson Tanager|
|1||CACSOL||Solitary Black Cacique|
|1||ONYCOR||Amazonian Royal Fylcatcher|